2013 Wrap Up and Top 13 Books of ’13!

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Oh my goodness, we have made it through another year! Happy 2014 everyone!

So for 2013 my goal was to read 100 books. And I… fell short. BY 6 BOOKS!!!! Ugh. All that studying got in my way. But I accomplished my goals of school, so I guess I’ll accept that I only read 94 books (haha, only).

I read some awesome books this year, and quite a few awesome series (serieses? I know that’s wrong but it’s kinda cool.) I also read some not so awesome books (City of Fallen Angels, I’m looking at you). And I even read some books that I had to put down repeatedly because I would feel rage coming on (Beautiful Disaster, I’m side-eyeing the shit out of you). And yes, there were some books I started and simply could never finish, such as The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, which I conveniently lost my place in 1/4 of the way through. I also couldn’t finish City of Lost Souls, even on an audiobook, because I just could not handle Clary and Jace for one more second. Sorry Ms. Clare.

I picked 13 books/series that were my top favorites of the year. Yes I combined stand-alones and series because I really couldn’t decide on the books in the series that I included. They are in no order, they are just the ones that I loved the most.

  •  The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian). Oh I loved reading all about the life of Percy Jackson and his friends in this series. As I’ve said all year, Rick Riordan hooks me in from the beginning and when I finish I want more. And speaking of Rick Riordan series, the next title on my list is:
  • The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, and The House of Hades). These ones were slightly darker than the PJO series, and the wait between The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades was terrible. This series is not yet complete, we still have The Blood of Olympus to read soon. Oh booooy… Love these books.
  • The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, In Time, and Never Fade). This series was a wonderfully dark and addictive series that I can’t wait to read the final installment of and I hope that Ms. Bracken does another short story between Never Fade and the final (still untitled) book. Yes, I did think they were slightly creepy, but I did not mind it at all, I could not put the books down ever.
  • A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I started reading this trilogy in 2012, and loved the last two books in it so much. Yes, the cover change drove me nuts, but the content of the books, sci-fi fantasy, were perfect all the same.
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Oh this book. This beautiful, painful book. The final bits of this book absolutely destroyed me and the whole thing was just so wonderful. If you’ve seen the movie with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, but haven’t read the book, please read the book. They left so much out in the movie and some of the parts they left out were so wonderful.
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess). This series was everything The Mortal Instruments series wasn’t. It was much better written than TMI was, and the characters were so much more interesting. I loved reading about Will, Jem, Tess, Charlotte, and Henry and all the others. I also loved seeing the creations and backstories on many people, places, and things in TMI, and loved seeing ancestry of certain TMI characters. And while some may not have loved the ending, I really did.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Oh this book, this lovely, wonderful book. I read this in December, so look for more about it in the December Wrap Up post, but this book was just so wonderful. I loved Cath and Wren and Reagan and Levi. It was so great. Now I have to read Eleanor and Park because Rowell has me hooked on her writing.
  • The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant). Yay dystopia! Tris was such a great character, and while the ending of this series may have been (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) painful, it was a great series and I sort of understand why Roth wrote the ending the way she did. READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE THE MOVIE COMES OUT! The movie will be great though, can’t wait to see it.
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. Alien invasion, dis-trust of everyone, and some awesome characters made this book so great. I had no clue who to believe and who not to believe and was hooked through every sentence. I cannot wait for The Infinite Sea to come out, pre-ordered and everything. Although I can say I’m only slightly disappointed the second book won’t be titled “The 6th Wave”.
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion). Wow this series was great. Everything about it from the covers to the type-color in each book for Day to the plot was awesome. Although dammit that ending! June, you should have set Day straight!!! ARGH! But the world was so cool and the characters were awesome, I’m so glad I picked the series up. Hopefully Ms. Lu will write something new in the next few years.
  • The Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong (Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, and No Humans Involved). Meera started me on this series this past summer and it has been so fun so far. I love that they have Elena,  female werewolf, as one of the main characters. All the women in these books are awesome, and some of them started as kind of wimpy and really grew in the books. I still have six more to go in this series, and I’m sure they’re all gonna be awesome!
  • The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). This was a really cool trilogy to start me on Libba Bray books. Gemma was a great teen protagonist and this trilogy was dark and captivating and beautiful. I love historical fiction, so that excited me too. And the ending was really great for Anne, Gemma, and Felicity.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The first in the Lunar Chronicles, I read this in December, so again, I’ll get to review it more later. But it was a great read, I love fairy tale retellings. I also went straight to Books A Million and picked up Scarlet (on sale too!!!) after finishing this book. And I’ll be pre-ordering Cress and Winter too. It’s gonna be great.

So that’s my list of Top 13 of ’13. I’ll get to the December Wrap Up/January TBR post tomorrow. Hopefully.

November Wrap Up/December TBR

So classes are done until January. And I can finally read again! And I even passed my exams so everything is good. So let’s get straight to the wrap up!

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So the first book I read in November was Broken by Kelley Armstrong. We went back to Elena the awesome werewolf’s point of view. Really, I love Elena. In this one she was pregnant, which had its own entertainment factor watching her and Jeremy and Clay all kind of struggle with their worry and over-protectiveness. They had to steal a letter and accidentally opened a portal from the underworld, letting a few zombies loose in modern-day Toronto. And possibly even Jack the Ripper, who the letter was supposedly written by. This book follows them trying to close the portal and we see return characters like Jamie as well as new characters. I love these books. They’re always so interesting to read.

I also read Champion by Marie Lu. Which was amazing and I couldn’t put it down. The final book in the Legend series, June and Day are working hard for the Republic and at first June still doesn’t know Day is dying. It was wonderful and frustrating and happy and sad all at the same time. And the ending… well, if you read it you know what I mean. And if you haven’t, I really don’t want to spoil it.

I read Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb. This one was a whole new level of interesting, bringing religion into it in a different way. A Catholic priest gets poisoned while in the midst of a funeral mass, and then a big-name preacher gets poisoned while in the middle of one of his televised services. Eve has to go through whole new levels to find the killer and some of it is hard for her to deal with. I always like visiting the world J.D. Robb creates, so many books in this series and it never gets old.

In preparation for the release of the Catching Fire movie (which was awesome and they stuck to the book much better than the first movie. They also had a bigger budget, which helps too.), I read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Really don’t need to review this book at all, it’s been read so much. If you haven’t read the series, just read it. This is a wonderful second book in a trilogy.

And finally I read Eon by Alison Goodman. This book was addictive and I had trouble putting it down, even to study for finals. But I managed to. And would pick it up the second I could to read more. Then of course I got tricked by the book at the end thinking I still had a few chapters left, but it was the first chapter of the next book. Which luckily, I already bought. Because the ending… oh my that ending! The world Alison Goodman built in the first book alone was a wonderful one. As it was a book about dragons and dragoneyes, she had to build a fantasy world, basing it with origins from Japanese and Chinese cultures. I can’t wait to read the next book, Eona. I’m so glad I bought both of them at the same time!

December TBR

Okay, so for the month of December, I’m free from school and ten books away from reaching 100 books for the year of 2013! So the first book I’ll be reading is No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong. And this book is about Jamie, our lovely medium! She’s no longer a side character! Girlfriend gets her own book! I hope she and Jeremy finally get together, because oh yes, I ship them!

I’m also going to be reading The Throne of Fire and The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan. I was going to read The Throne of Fire in November, but finals happened. I’m sorry Mr. Riordan! I can’t wait to read the continuation of the Kane Chronicles. Sadie and Carter are awesome, along with all their friends! And some enemies too. I already read The Son of Sobek, I couldn’t help myself. IT WAS CARTER KANE AND PERCY JACKSON! What would you expect me to do?? Luckily it was pretty spoiler free on what happened in the last two books of the Kane Chronicles, so that’s cool. Love Riordan books.

I’m going to be reading Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. The first book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy, I’ve had this one sitting on my unread shelf for a while after watching some reviews of it on YouTube. It sounds really good, and now I need to get around to reading it.

I’ll be reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Again, I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while, and this whole Lunar Chronicles series looks really amazing. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and retellings of fairy tales, so I can’t wait to catch up on this series!

I’m going to read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler, one of her I guess memoir books. After loving Mindy Kalling’s book, I think this one will be entertaining too.

Thanks to Amazon’s Black Friday offer of 10% off any one book, I got Never Fade, the second book in The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. I absolutely cannot wait to read this one, after the painful ending of The Darkest Minds. PLEASE LET RUBY FIND LIAM!!! AND LET CHUBS BE OKAY! I really love these books, and need to get a hard copy of The Darkest Minds so I can start getting other people to read it.

I’ll be reading Promises in Death by J.D. Robb, book number 28 of 38, I think it is now. One of these days I really will catch up on this whole series. But then I won’t know what to do with myself while I wait for the new one, so I’m not in too big of a hurry to do that. I love my visits with Eve and Roarke. And I just read the description for this one and I think I’ll be crying a little bit. Crap.

I’ll be reading Eona by Alison Goodman. Really, after all that happened in the first one, there’s no way I can make myself wait too long to read this book too. I want to finish it before I start classes again so I don’t have to separate myself from it to study like with Eon.

And finally, I’ll be continuing A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. I have a three-week vacation coming up, maybe I’ll be able to finish this one. Could happen.

So that’s my ambition from the month of December! We’ll see how it all goes.Sorry I’ve been so infrequent about this, but school really took up all my world. I basically read when I was on the bus to and from school, and no other time. Glad I have some time now, and hey, maybe I’ll even get the next wrap up and TBR post up on time!

I may do a year wrap up, just to do a quick recap, if anyone’s interested. Not totally sure I will or not. Maybe a favorite books of 2013 thing. Not sure. If anyone has a request, let me know in the comments!